Wednesday, April 27, 2005

FIVE DAYS IN AN IRA TRAINING CAMP ....... From the moment a new recruit enters the Irish Republican Army he or she undergoes a rigorous and intensive training to assess the individual Volunteer's level of commitment , general ability and particular aptitudes . After the initial recruitment lectures , this period includes training in personal security and anti-interrogation , basic intelligence work , political education - and of course training in the use of weapons . In this supplied article , a Volunteer in the IRA's Belfast Brigade describes his experience of taking part in an IRA training camp . From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 , pages 39 , 40 , 41 , 42, 43 , 44 and 45 . 3 ..

The cross-country hike takes just under an hour ; it's an unusual sensation to be marching through the countryside uniformed and armed , even though it's dark and we don't expect to be seen .

We've been marching in single file behind the IRA Training Officer and suddenly he stops as the ground rises steeply . We're grateful for what we imagine is a short breather before marching on , but then he stoops to pull some strips of foam from behind a rock , and then scrapes away the surface of a patch of ground to reveal some canvas bags . Soon we're busy constructing a makeshift shelter and camouflaging it with materials that have remained hidden since the previous shooting camp .

There's even a gas bottle and a small stove (I pity the poor devil who had to haul them there !) so we'll be able to brew tea . It takes about another hour to complete the shelter in the darkness , and we're just collapsing thankfully inside , the tea-pot almost boiling , when the other three lads arrive breathless .

Too cramped to stretch out for any sleep , we sit around drinking tea and talking through the night .......

[END of 'DAY 3']. (Tomorrow - 'DAY 4' : 'Firing-tunnel constructed...').

THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX ....... " The military struggle will not slow down to relate to Sinn Fein's political activity . "Michael Farrell interviews two spokespersons authorised to speak on behalf of the leadership of the IRA . From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 , pages 7, 9 and 11 .

MICHAEL FARRELL : " What is your strategy ? "

IRA : " Our strategy has been , by military and political action , to frustrate the British aim of making the six counties governable through local power-sharing-type institutions . So far we have succeeded in this and the Brits can only govern in a direct colonial way , using 30,000 armed men .
Ultimate success will come when the British government decides that even colonial rule is no longer feasible . This will come about when , as a result of our military activity , the British people themselves demand an end to the war . "

MICHAEL FARRELL : " How do you see a British withdrawal coming about ? "

IRA : " The level of political and military activity is not yet enough to secure this ; we recognise that , even if the entire nationalist population in the six counties voted for Sinn Fein , that would'nt be enough . There must be an increase in political activity in the 26 counties so that they also demand that the Brits get out .
Even that would'nt be enough , because the only thing colonial rulers will listen to is force . There must also be a big escalation of military activity by us - and there will be ....... "

STATEMENT RELEASED BY J. McGarrity , IRISH REPUBLICAN PUBLICITY BUREAU , February 1957 ....... From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 6.(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.

Encouraged by the apparent dissension in the Nationalist rank , an unofficial Unionist was nominated and elected . Mitchell , the 'felon' , got 24,000 votes , and Mr. O'Neill , the nominee of the Dublin Government , lost his deposit . In spite of all the warnings , 80 per cent of the Nationalist people , when given the opportunity , had declared for the right to use every honourable means to drive the British Army out of Ireland .

The Nationalist people in Occupied Ireland had spoken ; the era of confusion and false hopes was over . The stage was set , but the people of the North were not strong enough in numbers to defeat unaided the forces of British Occupation . They looked for help to their blood-brothers in the 26 Counties , and asked them - " When we rise , will the young men from the South come to help us ? "

They were told in answer that there would be no question of their rising and then looking for help from the young men of the rest of Ireland : they were told that when they decided to strike for freedom there would be men from the four provinces of Ireland with them in the firing line .
And so it happened that when the people of the North rose on the 12th December 1956 , they had with them fighting men from all parts of Ireland .......